On May 1, 1931, at a dedication ceremony in Washington, D.C., President Herbert Hoover hit a button that symbolically turned on the lights of the Empire State Building in New York City. This fall, the nation’s capital again illuminates this iconic structure with the presentation of three time-based media responses to the landmark by Andy Warhol, Douglas Gordon and Wolfgang Staehle.
On July 25, 1964, Warhol positioned himself on the 44th floor of the Time-Life Building to film the Empire State Building overnight, resulting in an inventive type of "still" movie, he titled "Empire." In 1997, in Berlin, Gordon stealthily videotaped two hours of Warhol’s film at a public exhibition, later releasing it as "Bootleg (Empire)." In 1999, Staehle brought new technology to the subject streaming his study, "Empire 24/7," via live webcast. Excerpts from Warhol’s and Staehle’s works and Gordon’s complete video will be installed together in the “Directions” gallery on the Third Level of the Hirshhorn.